Hangovers: The Definitive Way To Beat Them This Christmas Party Season

Kim Easton Smith

Hangovers: The great national pastime. And now we're into peak drinking season we need to know what to do about them.

So unless you want to spend hours of the working day curled around the toilet, a few precautions are necessary to keep you feeling a little less like death warmed up.

You CAN go to work today. Honestly. It'll be OK (REX)
You CAN go to work today. Honestly. It'll be OK (REX)

We spoke to Dr Roger Henderson about how to knock a hangover on the head - gently and without causing yourself any more unnecessary misery.

How can you avoid getting a hangover?

"Don't drink," saying Dr Henderson with a chuckle. "That really is the only way.

"There are things you can do to reduce the hangover, both the night before and the morning after, but ultimately your body needs to process the alcohol that you've put into it. Alcohol's a poison, so it's going to make your body feel pretty rough."

If you do drink, there are some things you can do to reduce the unpleasant affects of alcohol.

"One of the main reasons for the traditional hangover headache, and also why we feel so tired, is dehydration," Dr Henderson reminds us. So...

Swap an alcoholic drink for a soft one every now and then... If you like (REX)
Swap an alcoholic drink for a soft one every now and then... If you like (REX)

1. Drink!

"Of course it's a good idea to drink a soft drink or water between every alcoholic drinks - but let's face it, few of us do! Make sure you're hydrated before you start drinking. There's nothing worse than piling alcohol-related dehydration if you're already parched. If you're feeling thirsty, have a couple of glasses of water before you're tempted to quench your thirst with a pint."

2. Eat!

Foods with high water content are also a good way to ensure you're hydrated before you start drinking. And eating something beforehand will mean that your body processes the alcohol and sugars more slowly, which will stop you getting suddenly very drunk and crashing out too early.

"It doesn't really matter what you eat," admits Dr Henderson. "Some people say carbs are better, some say protein, but actually, just lining your stomach with something is what's important."

Having a snack when you get home, if you're in any sort of order to, can also help.

3. Cheat!

"Rehydration treatments before you go to bed and when you wake up are particularly useful for giving your body back not just the H2O it needs but also the electrolytes that contribute to dehydration," says Dr Henderson.

Our tried and tested method is one sachet of Dioralyte (two if you can stay awake long enough and/or consume that much liquid before bed) in water when you get in from a night out and one in the morning. The results are life changing.

4. Breakfast

"The best breakfast to tackle a hangover is a slice of wholegrain toast, for the slow release energy, covered with honey to raise your blood sugar (which dips overnight) and make you feel less shaky, and a glass of orange juice for the vitamins. But don't expect it to cure you, nothing can do that."

Have a nice comforting bowl of vegetable soup
Have a nice comforting bowl of vegetable soup

5. Eat throughout the day

The NHS recommends a vegetable broth to replenish your nutrients, electrolytes and water. It's kind on the stomach but try eating little and often if you're feeling sick. An antacid might also help settle upset tums.

And when you've made it to the end of the day, hair of the dog is most definitely not the answer. Go home, get some sleep and let your body tissues replenish for ideally 48 hours before drinking again.

Failing that, tell yourself that January will be a new start and hang on in there. For all our good intentions, that's what most of us will be doing no doubt.

Good luck.

[How To Use Up Leftover Alcohol]
[If We're Not Careful We're Going To DRINK 4,000 Calories This Christmas]